IntelliJ IDEA 2019.1 Help

Style Sheets

With IntelliJ IDEA, you can write style definitions in CSS as well as in various languages that compile into it, such as Sass, Less, SCSS, or Stylus.

IntelliJ IDEA recognizes and processes most common style selectors: the universal selector *, type selectors .a, descendant selectors .a.b, child selectors .a .b, ID selectors #b, pseudo-classes and class selectors DIV.warning.

IntelliJ IDEA provides code completion for properties, their values, and for selectors. Navigation from the use of a selector in HTML or JavaScript to its definition in a style sheet file is also available. For variables and mixins, IntelliJ IDEA supports code completion and navigation to the definition.

You can also look up documentation for style sheets, create and move rule-sets, extract variables, and more.

Documentation look-up

For properties and pseudo-elements, IntelliJ IDEA can show you a summary from the corresponding MDN article. This summary is displayed in the Documentation popup which shows a brief description of the property and its values, as well as information about its compatibility with various browsers.

To view documentation for a property at caret

  • Press Ctrl+Q or select View | Quick Documentation Lookup from the main menu. IntelliJ IDEA opens a Documentation popup with a brief description of the property.

    • If the property is available in all versions of browsers, IntelliJ IDEA does not show any information about its compatibility.

      Style sheets quick documentation: property is available in all versions of browsers
    • Otherwise, the Documentation popup also lists the browsers and their versions that support the property.

      Style sheets quick documentation: compatible browsers are listed

To open the MDN documentation in the browser

  • In the Documentation popup (Ctrl+Q), click the link at the bottom.

  • Press Shift+F1 or select View | External Documentation from the main menu.

Checking compatibility with browsers

Besides looking up in the documentation popup, you can check style sheet properties for compatibility with specific browsers on the fly. This inspection is based on the MDN Browser Compatibility Data and shows you a warning every time a property is not supported in one of the targeted browsers.

Style sheet compatibility inspection popup
  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Editor | Inspections.

  2. Expand the CSS node and select the Browser compatibility for properties. In the Options area, select the browsers you want to target and the minimum versions for them.

    CSS compatibility inspection settings

Formatting Style Sheets

Every time IntelliJ IDEA generates, refactors, or reformats your style sheet code, it automatically applies the language-specific code style settings.

Alternatively, you can use the Prettier formatter.

To format a Style Sheet with Prettier

  • Select the code fragment to reformat in the editor or select a file or a folder in the Project tool window and press N/A.

Working with rule-sets

IntelliJ IDEA lets you create new rule-sets from existing declarations in CSS, SCSS, Sass, or Less files and even move entire rule-sets between files using intention actions and refactoring.

To extract a rule-set

  1. Select the declarations to extract. If you need only one declaration, just place the cursor inside it.

  2. Press Alt+Enter and select Extract rule-set from the list.

IntelliJ IDEA creates a new rule-set with the same selector and moves the selected declarations to it. If the selection contains comments, nested selectors, and so on, they are also moved to the new rule-set.

To move a rule-set to another file

  1. Place the cursor anywhere in the rule-set and press F6.

  2. In the dialog that opens, specify the file to move the rule-set to. If the specified file does not exist, IntelliJ IDEA will suggest creating it.

  3. By default, IntelliJ IDEA automatically opens the file where the rule-set is moved. To change this behavior, clear the Open in editor checkbox.

Completing style sheet classes

Inside body tags in HTML files, IntelliJ IDEA provides completion for CSS, SCSS, Less, and Sass symbols. Completion is suggested for classes and ids defined inside style tags in the current HTML file as well as for symbols from other style sheet files.

IntelliJ IDEA first suggests classes and ids from the style tag and files linked with link tags. If no matching results are found, IntelliJ IDEA also suggests symbols defined in all stylesheet files in the project. To see all classes and ids defined in the project straight away, before you start typing, press Ctrl+Space twice.

Project-wide completion for style sheet symbols in HTML

Refactoring in style sheets

With IntelliJ IDEA, you can convert expressions in style sheets into variables and introduce these variables using the var(--var-name) syntax in .css files or the $ syntax in .scss and .sass files.

To extract a variable

  1. In the editor, place the cursor at the expression to convert into a variable and press Ctrl+Alt+V or select Refactor | Extract | Variable from the context menu or from the main menu.

  2. If more than one occurrence of the selected expression is found, select Replace this occurrence only or Replace all occurrences from the Multiple occurrences found list.

  3. For .scss, and .sass, select the global or local scope for the variable.

  4. In the field with red borders, accept the suggested variable name or specify a custom name. Press Enter when ready.

Common refactorings, such as Copy, Move, or Rename, are also available.

Changing Color Values in Style Sheets

With IntelliJ IDEA, you can easily change color values in Style Sheets without typing hexadecimal codes.

To choose a color

  1. Open the desired Style Sheet for editing.

  2. Type color:, and then press Ctrl+Space.

  3. Select the desired color value from the suggestion list or choose color... to pick a custom one.

To change a color

  1. Open the desired Style Sheet for editing, and locate the color property that you want to change.

  2. Click the color icon in the gutter.

    Alternatively, if the icons are not shown, press Alt+Enter and select Change color from the list.

  3. In the Choose color dialog that opens, pick the desired new color and click Choose.

To preview the code of a color

  • IntelliJ IDEA marks each color property with a gutter icon of the corresponding color. When you hover over a color icon, IntelliJ IDEA displays a popup that shows the color preview and its hexadecimal code.

    To use a code instead of a human-readable color name, press Alt+Enter and select Convert color to <color code system> from the list, where <color code system> is HEX, HSL, HWB, or RGB

To show color icons in the gutter

By default, IntelliJ IDEA displays color icons in the gutter. If they are for some reason hidden, you can return them at any time.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Editor | General | Gutter Icons. The Gutter Icons page opens.

  2. In the Common area, select the Color preview checkbox.

Viewing the Styles Applied to a Tag

In HTML, XHTML, JSP and JSPX files, IntelliJ IDEA can show you all the styles applied to an arbitrary tag.

  • From the context menu of a tag, select Show Applied Styles for Tag.

    IntelliJ IDEA opens the CSS Styles tool window with two panes, the left-hand pane shows the styles for the tag and the right-hand pane shows their definitions. For each tag, IntelliJ IDEA opens a separate tab.

    Viewing the styles applied to the tag <body>

    From the tool window, you can navigate to tags and definitions of properties in your source code.

    • To jump to the tag, click the Navigate to Tag toolbar button on the toolbar of the left-hand pane.

    • To jump to the definition of a property, select it in the left-hand pane and click the Navigate to Style Sources button on the toolbar of the right-hand pane.

Configuring syntax highlighting

You can configure CSS-aware syntax highlighting according to your preferences and habits.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Editor | Color Scheme | CSS.

  2. Select the color scheme, accept the highlighting settings inherited from defaults or customize them as described in Configuring Colors and Fonts.

Last modified: 23 April 2019